Having returned from Paris unbeaten, Ireland entertain Scotland in their final home match of the 2012 RBS 6 Nations. You can keep up-to-date with this evening’s game via our O2 MatchDay Live service right here on IrishRugby.ie.
Knee injuries to Paul O’Connell and Conor Murray, along with a foot infection for Sean O’Brien, have seen the Ireland management enforced changes to the team that drew 17-17 with France last Sunday.
Donnacha Ryan will make his first Six Nations start, linking up with his Munster colleague Donncha O’Callaghan in the second row.
There is another provincial axis at half-back where Eoin Reddan takes Murray’s place to line out alongside his Leinster team-mate Jonathan Sexton.
The final switch was confirmed on Thursday with O’Brien’s withdrawal seeing Peter O’Mahony promoted from the replacements bench to take the number 7 jersey.
This will be the 22-year-old O’Mahony’s first start at Test level after recent appearances off the bench against Italy and France.
Today’s Celtic clash will mark the first time Ireland have started a Championship game without either Brian O’Driscoll or Paul O’Connell in their starting line-up since a 41-22 victory over Italy in 2001.
Tommy Bowe (five tries) needs just one more try to equal the Six Nations try-scoring record in an individual season jointly held by Will Greenwood (2001), Shane Williams (2008) and Chris Ashton (2011).
Meanwhile, Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has made one change in personnel to the side that lost 23-17 to France last time out.
Nick De Luca returns to the line-up at outside centre with Sean Lamont reverting to the left wing in place of his injured brother, Rory. Euan Murray, Ruaridh Jackson and Max Evans are the three new additions to the bench.
Scotland’s loss to France marked their fifth consecutive Test defeat, their worst run at this level since 2004. Their last success was against Georgia (15-6) during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Averaging three tries a game, Ireland have been the Six Nations’ best finishers in the three rounds so far this season, while Scotland have averafed just one try per match.
Declan Kidney’s men have averaged 27 points per match, compared to Scotland’s 12, and will have another Six Nations debutant if Connacht’s Mike McCarthy comes on as a replacement.
Tipperary man Ryan is winning his 17th Ireland cap today. Despite debuting for Munster back in 2004, the Scotland match will only be the tenth time he has partnered O’Callaghan in the second row at either provincial or international level.
Ireland’s most recent victory was a 42-10 triumph over Italy at the Aviva Stadium. However, they have yet to record consecutive Test wins at the Lansdowne Road venue since moving back from Croke Park.
We will have live text commentary direct from the Aviva Stadium as the Best-captained team look to record Ireland’s 57th triumph in 127 Test meetings with Scotland.
Plug in your laptop or turn on the PC and enjoy a flavour of today’s match live on IrishRugby.ie. There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage, with the game kicking off at 5pm.
You can watch live TV coverage of the match on RTÉ Two and BBC One. There will be highlights later on Setanta Sports Ireland.
Michael Corcoran will also be providing live commentary of the game on RTÉ Radio 1, with their coverage beginning shortly before kick-off.
Starting at 4.30pm with our pre-match build-up, you can feel part of the action on IrishRugby.ie with MatchDay Live.
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